Saturday, February 18, 2017

EVAP. Pigtail Confusion, Multi-Purchase, and Ultimate Makeshift Creation.

So Cheryl found the part online and ordered it.   It cost nearly $70!   And said it would take 3-5 business days to arrive....after promising overnight shipping upon order.

This panicked Cheryl.

Pigtails....for cars!
Yesterday, we head to rent a car.   We can't rent a car without several forms of Identification...which we did not have on us or even know about.  So....

Auto Zone is next door.   Go get the stuff to "make" the pigtail (It is called a "pigtail" by people in the know....not a "clip" or a "wire assembly" or "Electrical plug".  Good to know!)  I buy a soldering Iron, several clips and a spool of 16 gauge wire.   I'm ready for plan...."B" or "C".... or what ever plan we are now on.
I get to play with Solder and wires!

Not bad, if you ask me.

Come to find out, Auto Zone can order the part and have it arrive Tomorrow!  (That is Saturday by noon!)  Awesome! Back to plan A!  (I think...)  We  place the order and pre-purchase it.   Cheryl plans on canceling the order from the "unknown" source online.

Long lost Pigtail upset my version

I prepare to assemble the patched up "Gerry Rigged" pigtail with my new soldering iron and wires.  I think it looks pretty good!   And then!
They match..but newer one is "tight"  and "Snap!"

UPS delivered the pigtail Cheryl originally purchased yesterday!   No confirmation, No tracking,  Only a warning that it would take 3-5 days.  And here it is.   Now we have potentially THREE of these things that were not supposed even to exist.

I jump into action and decide to fix the darn thing here and now.  The new clip is a very tight fit.   So tight I have trouble fitting it on.  I grease it and apply steady pressure.  "SNAP!"   Use your imagination here.  It is correct. They are meant to be a tight fit for a reason...but really? Cut me some slack, man.

Great day for a fire!
Luckily,  I have the "Ethan Allen Version" on my shop table.   It fits perfectly and I check it over and over again to make sure it does!  I install it and take it for a drive....  Subie works again!
Brush fires in Iowa!

As with all "non-professional" jobs,  there is a hint of reservation.   We shall know more as we drive Subie longer and ultimately,  when we have to refuel.  I'm hoping that I somehow managed to fix the problem.

Run by the city!  Wouldn't  Smokey be proud.
So today's task was to return to Auto zone; thank then for their help; and then cancel the order.  It was a nice enough day and Cheryl wanted to enjoy as much of it as she could.   It was also a nice enough day to have a brush fire!   Hurray for living in Iowa!  Where brush fires are not only permitted...  They are encouraged!    And performed ...By the CITY!

Parks Service adding fire to their Forestry management.
Cold weather will return soon enough,  but the Robins and Bluebirds are returning.  I'm hoping to enjoy some of this Spring weather in February tomorrow in Davenport.   See ya then!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

EVAP Canister Control Vent Solenoid. A Story of Heartbreak.

Subie and I seem to have a lot in common.   We were useful... once.   A long time ago. But Age and the Miles have caught up with us somehow.  If I sound depressed,  I guess I must be...  A little anyway.   I can barely sum up the energy to write this blog post.   But somehow... Subie and I will survive.

Testing the new part to see if it works
The Evaporator charcoal canister control vent solenoid. This very long and elaborate title belongs to this small part placed dangerously close to the rear tire and the road.  This allows it to gather all the road dirt, mud, salt, and other dirty substrates and cake it in a highly corrosive mud clog.

Remove the Charcoal Canister.
Under all this Dirt... is the problem.
The problem arises when the part does not work.   Either the gas tank can not be filled...or the car stalls after filling it up with fuel.   I have fixed this problem twice before.   And we are now on third ECCCVS.   The problem is that once you break the seal off the various fittings and plugs,  it allows moisture and oxygen to seep in and cause corrosion.

Rusted on Bolt...Time to Dremel it!
Again,  with only three bolts to remove and  everything on "finger tight",  you would think that it would take 15 minutes to remove the old and replace it.   WRONG!   The bolts that I was forced to replace last time have, once again,  rusted and seized up!    The special tools I purchased for this problem last time are USELESS!  And I was once again forced to use the Dremel tool to cut the bolts off.
Creative solutions....  Because I'm an idiot!

  Another problem:   I have no extension cord that will reach the car.    Time to get creative!  I park closer to the door AND assemble a rag-tag extension cord out of old Christmas lights and surge protector power strips.

Be careful not to damage this. 
A Japanese Proverb states: Humiliation requires an audience.  Working alone under the car, I have no audience, but choose to carefully take I can create an audience of Blog followers.  And thus:   Share my humiliation.  What should have taken 15 minutes took all afternoon and is still not fixed.   The wire clip had corroded all the way through and fell off in my hand. (And I was being SOOOO careful with it.)  It also will need to be replaced.
Oops!   Guess it was ruined anyway.   Have to replace this too.
 And the FUN part is that no two auto places have the same name for the wire harness clip.   I finally found it on NAPA under the key words "Wire" and "Snaps".   You would think "Evaporator Canister Control Vent Solenoid Wiring Harness Clip" would get you in the ball park.... Nope!   I spent a frustrating 2 hours  ( or longer!) online trying to find the NAME of the part.  Even diagrams would not show the clip.  

Cheryl finally found cost more than the actual ECCCVS!   And no one has it in stock.   Typical.

So Subie and I are now grounded until the part arrives in the mail.   I attempted to tape up the ends of the Vacuum system to close it off.  It worked for a few moments.... but Subie started sputtering and stalling and this scared Cheryl.  Better to be safe than stranded.
Corrosion down into the pins. No saving this. 

Hope everyone else is having a nice day.   Mine will be better once the car is fixed.   And then the question will be: "for how long."   Nothing lasts forever, but wouldn't it be nice if things lasted longer than you expected?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Cheryl's 18.2 Mile Run in Davenport.

The last few days have been perfect for running.   Higher temps in the upper 40's with sunshine.   Yesterday's only down side was the wind.  For this reason,  we pushed the long run back until today.

Nothing too special to note here.    She has run 18 miles before in prep for a this is fairly standard.  The exceptional part was that she did not melt down mid way through!  She even maintained a steady pace with each mile well under 10 minutes.   Not bad for a first official "Long Run."

All that being said,  Davenport...and specifically running along the Mississippi, has continued to be a  pleasant experience for both of us.   There is no mud on the path for my bike to get bogged down and dirty in.  There are enough "New Things" to keep Cheryl's mind off of her aching legs.   And the sounds and sites of the river are calming and relaxing...while also providing  motivation.

We even saw another Eagle.   This one was a little closer to the bike trail.   It was in a large tree in the middle of the city!    I can't help it.  I still get all geeky about Bald Eagles   There certainly is no shortage of them in this state.  I would be willing to bet that this state even rivals Alaska!  ( That is saying something!) I certainly have seen more of them...and in larger groups than all the time I spent in Alaska...combined!

So,  Mission complete!   Cheryl finished with a decent training time and without incident.  I'm not sure when our next long run will be...but I'm thinking it will be 20 miles and possibly back in Davenport!   See ya then!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Twin-City Valentine Race Finish!

Parallel parking in the mud
Later than usual departure.
 What an awesome day to run a race in Minnesota of all places.   Who would have thought the temps would be this unseasonably warm?   It was almost 40 degrees at the race start and just missed 50 degrees as the day progressed!  But I should not get too far ahead of myself...

Walking across frozen muddy field.
Scoping out the music.
We were able to sleep in a bit this time since the race started at 10:00.   Rare for a race, but maybe they wanted the sun to be able to warm the earth a bit on a typical February day.  We were able to eat breakfast at the hotel Before the race (something we rarely get to do.) and headed out.

And the start!
It's a Plane!
We parallel parked and crossed a frozen field towards the start line.  They offered small warming fires and hot cocoa for the runners, although with the temps the way they were,  not many people were taking advantage of the amenities.
And another!

And another!
The race was at a park near the airport.  We were able to see plane after plane shoot up into the sky.   Kind of a col way to pass the time, watching the plans take off.

There were lots of dogs and lots of people dressed up for the event.
Pajama man...And many more!


Lining up for the National anthem.
For being just a 5K, it was still a fun time.  I heard that there were 2000 participants signed up.  This is one of the organizations that throw the marathon, so they seem to know what they are doing. There was music and a police escort....for just a simple 5K!

 Cheryl lined up and waited for the national anthem, and then they were off!

Being such a short race,  I know I would not have many pictures of Cheryl actually running.  And with nearly 2000 people...TALL people,  I knew that that challenge would be even greater.

Cheryl near the start.
She dashes by!
Still,  I was able to get a few at the start and finish.

She dashes by!...again!
Cheryl near the finish!
Her time was not bad, but not a new PR.   It was a negative spit, ( she ran faster towards the end than the beginning) so she was happy with that.   She was 11th in her age group out of nearly 170 other females.  Her average time was 7:50 minute miles.

Collecting the Loot!  With "'Tude"!  

Her biggest complaint was that the entire event was over too quickly.   I know the feeling well.  Sometimes you want things to last a little longer.   But in the end,  she got a cool shirt and another finishers medal to add to the trophy wall.


With all that...time for Donuts!   I hear athletes can eat anything they want after a race...  I can do that Without running!  But there is all that guilt attached.  Maybe I should take up something that burns more calories.
And now to Celebrate!

Guilt free carb intake...
Cheryl is already talking long run in Davenport tomorrow.   The problem with 5K's is that they do not burn off all that energy she acquires from those donuts.  This means she has plenty to put forth for an 18 mile  long run.   Fingers crossed that the weather holds out.  I guess today and yesterday were the two "nice" days.  Nice or not, we are doing it for Boston....but Nice would definitely be nicer to run in.   We shall see how it goes.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Back to Winter Running.

Just two days ago!
It was fun while it lasted;  but Winter has returned.    Say goodbye to the tease of spring.

So it happens to be late currently, so I will try to keep this post short.  I basically wanted to note the change in the weather and announce that we will be running this weekend.   The Twin Cities call to Cheryl for a Valentine run!   Only the twin cities are crazy enough to offer a race in wither that is not inside. (Ok,  I'm sure that is not true..but Minnesota loves the cold!)  The race will be short, but at least it will pacify Cheryl for a while.
Back to winter

In the mean time,  we have gone from Shorts back to Winter attire as Cheryl runs in the snow.   The temps are hovering around 20 degrees and the sun has been nice enough to warm things up slightly.  Other than that,  the snow gives us a chance to see who else shares the path with us.  Rabbits, coyotes, deer, and squirrels are the common ones.   A surprise was the very large Turkey tracks on the very path we run on.
Turkeys run the same trail as we do!

As always, the bald eagles are difficult to capture.   They swoop down over the top of your head, and by the time you get your camera ready, they look like this:
Eagle above us!

Hope everyone is having a good week.  Tomorrow will be spent traveling to the northern parts of Minnesota.  We have not been there since the 4th of July I believe.   Seems like Wisconsin replaces Minnesota for Cheryl's favorite running state.  I'm Ok with that.   See ya soon.


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